This year, NBA teams across the league have come out with their new “Statement” uniforms for the 2019-2020 season, and the Phoenix Suns are bringing back the orange. In the eight regular games, the Suns wear their alternate jerseys, an all-orange uniform that honors the team’s famous “Seven Seconds or Less” era. This memorable season stands out in the team’s history, so it seems that the Phoenix Suns are looking for a fresh start this year by releasing a new uniform to honor that time.
The “Seven Seconds or Less” era
Mike D’Antoni first joined the Phoenix Suns as a replacement coach during the 2003-2004 season. Faced with a team of injured players, for the next few years he worked with the Sun’s two-time MVP recipient Steve Nash, in addition to Shawn Marion and Amar’e Stoudemire, to create a new, dynamic offense.
According to Clutch Point, the strategy “changed the landscape of the NBA forever.” Known as the Fast Break Phoenix Suns Offense, the technique had to be executed in seven seconds or less, leaving the opposing team with little time to respond.
A memorable season for the Pheonix Suns
The offensive move had the team poised for victory during the 2005-2006 NBA finals, but unfortunately, the team didn’t win. However, the 2005-2006 season was still filled with groundbreaking moments that left the public wanting more.
The memorable events of the 2005-2006 season are described in Sports Illustrated’s chief NBA staff writer Jack McCallum’s book, Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin’ and Gunnin’ Phoenix Suns.
The new uniform
As part of Nike’s uniform contract with the NBA, city or alternate “Statement” uniforms are provided, and each team selects unique icons and designs that celebrate their city or zip code.
The alternate uniform that the 2005-2006 team wore was orange, with gray trim on top and gray, yellow, and white trim on the bottom. In homage of that memorable year, the team currently wears a bright orange sleeveless uniform during its home games on Fridays.
The PayPal and Nike logos appear on the shoulders of the new jersey. Instead of a word logo, however, the team’s sunburst logo appears in front. Player numbers are printed in white, with the “PHX” abbreviation appearing on the belt line. The orange top and shorts are trimmed with purple.
The Pheonix Suns are starting out strong this year
The Suns actually surprised everyone with a strong start this year, thanks to a new coaching team led by coach Monty Williams and some very strong defense. Two weeks into the season, the Suns had a huge win when they handed the undefeated 76ers their first loss of the season.
The New York Times commented on how new acquisition Aaron Baynes played strong, finishing with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Ricky Rubio, the NY Times also observed, finished with 21 points and 10 assists. And of course, five-year Suns veteran Devin Booker dominated, scoring 40 points.
Five weeks into the season
The New York Times recently updated its observations on the Phoenix Suns. The team’s hot start has cooled down a bit as various players face injuries. However, as the article notes, this year’s Phoenix Suns team brings competence and stability — not just with the presence of Booker, but also with the arrival of newcomers like Rubio and coach Williams. It still remains to be seen if the team will make it to the playoffs, but it’s a possibility.
A few final notes
Bringing back the orange and mimicking some of the design details of the statement uniform worn during the Phoenix Suns’ SSOL era is a way to inspire fans and teammates alike. What better way to look for a fresh start this year than with the release of a new uniform that gives a nod to arguably one of the team’s best seasons yet? It’s a gesture of hope that implies there are more good things to come from the Phoenix Suns.